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B2C E-Commerce in Western Europe shows strong regional Differences

(PresseBox) (Hamburg, ) In its latest "Western Europe B2C E-Commerce Report 2012", Hamburg-based secondary market research company has compiled interesting facts and figures about the B2C E-Commerce market in Western Europe. Aside from trends and revenue figures, the report covers market shares and successful product categories, as well as Internet and online shopper figures and leading players in the B2C E-Commerce markets in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Furthermore, the report includes information about the entire Western European region as well as the countries Portugal, Ireland and Luxembourg. For Great Britain, France, Spain, and Italy, separate reports are also available.

The Western European countries UK, Ireland and France have the highest retail website penetration, clearly surpassing the European average of approximately 80%. With regard to M-Commerce compared to all B2C E-Commerce activities, the Western European countries UK and Spain are two of the top three Western European countries.

Food and Fashion Items important British E-Commerce Product Categories

While in 2010 almost two thirds of the British population ordered products and services online, 2011 saw this figure increase to more than 70%. In the first half of 2012, online shoppers in the UK spent almost 35 billion GBP. "Fashion and sporting goods" were the most popular product categories in 2011, followed by "Travel" and "Household Items". In the UK, online food and fashion purchases are also becoming increasingly popular, along with the use of daily deal websites. Almost half of all consumers make at least one fashion purchase per month. Mobile shopping is another growing trend in the UK. In the UK, Amazon has the highest number of unique visitors in 2012, clearly ahead of mass merchants Argos and Tesco, which have fewer unique visitors combined than Amazon has alone.

Growing B2C E-Commerce Revenue in France despite decreasing Transaction Value

Although B2C E-Commerce revenue in France increased by nearly a quarter in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, the average value of individual online purchases decreased. In 2012, more than half of all Internet users in France intended to book "Travel Arrangements" online, followed by services and cultural products such as books and music. Approximately one eighth of all online shoppers in France have previously made purchases with their mobile devices and another two thirds intend to do so in the near future. Meanwhile, online shopping via Facebook is less successful. Less than 5% of all Facebook users intend to make purchases using this social media portal.

In the first half of 2012, almost half of all online shoppers in France made online purchases from mass merchant Amazon, followed by travel agency website Voyagessncf and consumer electronics outlet Fnac. In terms of unique visitor numbers, generalist La Redoute comes ahead of the competition.

M-Commerce and Social Networks increasingly important in Spanish B2C E-Commerce

In 2011, more than half of all Internet users made purchases online, spending more than 800 Euro on average. The most popular products in 2011 were "Holiday Accommodation" and "other Travel Services" as well as "Event Tickets". Online food shopping has yet to successfully establish itself in Spain, whereas the popularity of mobile shopping is soaring. Aside from mobile shopping, social media sites also spur B2C E-Commerce in Spain. Almost 50% of all social media users in Spain read product and service reviews on social networks prior to making a purchase. In Spain, computer and consumer electronics retailers draw the highest numbers of visitors. Movistar, Orange, Apple, and Vodafone are four of the five most successful companies there.

Daily Deal Revenues contribute to B2C E-Commerce Growth in Italy

In Italian B2C E-Commerce, a mid-range double digit percentage growth is expected for 2012. This can be attributed to the soaring popularity of daily deal websites and private sales, as well as to the increase in mobile shopping. Despite the growing use of mobile devices, in 2011 they only accounted for 1% of all B2C E-Commerce revenue.

In Italy, Zalando is ahead of Amazon when it comes to the number of unique visitors. IBS, an Italian seller of books, music and films, is also very successful in Italy. In 2011, it increased its revenue to 70 million EUR, the majority of which was generated online.

Travel-related Online Purchases very popular in the Netherlands and Belgium

In the Netherlands, product-based E-Commerce increased by more than 10% between 2010 and 2011, even if the average online shopping basket decreased slightly. Travel-related categories accounted for the largest share of online revenue generated in 2011. The online retail websites with the highest number of unique visitors are mass merchants Bol and Wehkamp, clearly ahead of fashion retailer Zalando in third place.

The number of online shoppers in Belgium is growing proportionally to the confidence in B2C E-Commerce safety. According to forecasts, B2C E-Commerce revenue in 2012 is expected to grow by almost 10%. "Event Tickets" and "Holiday Accommodation" were the most popular online categories in 2011. Mass merchant Unigro and fashion retailer La Redoute are the leading online retailers in Belgium, measured by the number of unique visitors.

Internet Use more widespread in Luxembourg and Ireland than in Portugal

In 2011, only slightly more than half of all consumers in Portugal used the Internet every week, mainly to research product information and other topics. After completion of online research, "Consumer Electronics" and "Gardening Equipment" were mostly bought online. In Ireland, more than 40% of all people shopped online in 2011, with travel-related arrangements accounting for the majority of purchases. In Luxembourg, both the number of Internet users and that of online shoppers were clearly above the EU average. "Books, Magazines and Newspapers" and "Holiday Accommodation" ranked as the most popular product categories.

Overall, B2C E-Commerce is widespread in Western Europe, whereby the number of Internet users and online shoppers is lower in Southern countries within Western Europe.

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